Help and Support

COVID-19 Newsflash: Targeted Testing – Lateral Flow Testing for Voluntary and Community Groups

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VSI Alliance News & Events

Newsflash from the Voluntary Sector Infrastructure (VSI) Alliance team

 

 

Calderdale Council is supported by the Department of Health and Social Care to deliver a new COVID-19 testing programme, as part of a national programme. Lateral Flow Testing brings is an additional tool to support with the control of disease transmission across our community.
 
The Lateral Flow Test is a clinically validated swab antigen test that does not require a laboratory for processing and can turnaround results within an hour. The test works extremely well in finding cases with high viral load (those who are most infectious) who may not show signs of active infection, and who may unwittingly transmit the disease to colleagues, customers, family and friends. You do not have to have symptoms, or have been in contact with someone who has, to access this testing programme – it is for those working in more risky environments. It is worth pointing out that although the test works well in finding positive cases, a negative result is not a reliable indicator that you do not have the virus, and you will therefore still need to abide by all regulations and guidance.
 
In Calderdale we are taking a targeted approach to the rollout of Lateral Flow Testing. We are focusing on people we know carry a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the environments they work in. This is also available to volunteers and staff in the Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS):

If you are working/volunteering and meet one of the following criteria, you are eligible for regular testing:

  • You are involved in activities which involve meeting people face-to-face indoors. This could include, but is not limited to, providing emergency food or shelter, working in food banks, driving people to medical appointments, providing in-person care, support, social care or therapy. 
  • You are volunteering to support the vaccination programme, testing programme, pulse oximetry delivery programme or other covid-related tasks.
  • You are doing regular tasks for other at-risk people, dog-walking, medication collection, which involve a greater element of risk. One-off volunteer tasks, which involve simply dropping off a parcel on the doorstep isn’t considered to present a high risk.

Calderdale Council’s approach is underpinned by its key objectives:

  • Identify undetected disease and break the chain of transmission
  • Increase confidence in settings on the principle that it’s a safe place to work
  • Protect those at highest risk, and prevent the transmission of disease in high risk settings
  • Ensure those who are asked to self-isolate are supported to do so

Eligible people are invited to book an appointment at either of our Testing Stations listed below with appointments available Mon-Fri, 09.00-16.30.
 

St Johns Health Centre
Lightowler Road
Halifax
HX1 5ND
 

Todmorden Community College
44 Burnley Road
Todmorden
OL14 7BX
 

Appointments must be booked in advance via our online booking platform  BOOK HERE
 
If after taking a Lateral Flow Test a positive result is shown the subject will be required to self-isolate for 10 days, along with household members, in line with government guidelines.
 
Guidance on support Calderdale Council may be able to offer you to self-isolate can be found
HERE
 
Thank you
Cliff Dunbavin   COVID-19 OPCP Programme Manager    Calderdale Council

This information is also available and will be updated online
here

 

About VSI Alliance: All staff at the VSI Alliance are available remotely to support you and your organisation at this time with various aspects of your work, along with providing key information and resources. For support/advice, please contact info@vsialliance.org.uk.  

 

Grant Round Open To Support West Yorkshire Communities

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West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has opened his latest grant round of the Safer Communities Fund (SCF) with £140,000 available, made up from Proceeds of Crime monies successfully secured by police and prosecutors.

Voluntary, community groups, charities and partners can now bid for grants of up to £6000 from the fund which has a strong theme of supporting communities, and a particular focus on safeguarding vulnerable people.

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: “In these truly unprecedented times we want to do all we can to help those most in need.

“I would welcome a broad range of project applications across all of the priority areas set out in my Police and Crime Plan. However, I am particularly looking for initiatives that support the more vulnerable such as younger people or the elderly, women and girls, those with disabilities or victims harmed by crime. Early intervention and prevention projects and those offering therapy or support are also very welcome.

“Crucially, projects must be in a position to get to work helping people right away. That means being able to operate within the current climate of Covid restrictions and in a Covid secure way.

“I really need everyone’s help in promoting this fund so that it can reach the areas where it will make the most difference, so please, if you know of a group this could help, let them know.

“I’m very pleased to be able to continue to offer this much needed funding and support during such unique and challenging times, which is also a great testament to the ongoing work of West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors in securing Proceeds of Crime resources.

“It was a key commitment of mine on being elected PCC in 2012 to ensure Proceeds of Crime monies found its way back into our communities affected by such criminal activity in first place, and it has never been more needed than at the moment during the pandemic.”

This latest grant opportunity is the 20th round of the Safer Communities Fund which has also just allocated grant round 19’s cash, of over £180,000 to 36 projects across West Yorkshire.

Projects funded include:

  • Disability Partnership Calderdale, in partnership with West Yorkshire Police, with a project to educate and empower people to report BAME Disability Hate Crime.
  • Radio Sangam in Kirklees who are implementing online Domestic Abuse Support for the South Asian community asking for help following incidences of domestic abuse.
  • Guiding Light Leads in partnership with West Yorkshire Police, who will be delivering an Educate and Empower Black Youth Programme.
  • Tigers Trust in Wakefield for their project ‘Tigers Try Time’ which will look to support and education about hate crime made against their women and disabled teams.
  • Supporting the Keighley Pride event 2021 including security and providing BSL interpreters to ensure LGBTQ people will experience improved safety.

The fund initially launched in 2014 and has now allocated £3.6m to around 790 projects making a real difference across West Yorkshire.

A virtual celebration event, looking back at fund achievements and awards for grand round 20 will be held on Monday 22nd March. All current and past recipients will be invited.

The Safer Communities Fund is financed through money and assets recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act by West Yorkshire Police and Prosecutors.

West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable, John Robins, said: “These last few months have presented great challenges, not least for the many community and voluntary groups across West Yorkshire which, despite restrictions, have continued to provide vital help to those people who need it most. Whether it be supporting victims of crime, or making sure children’s or older people’s wellbeing is cared for during lockdown, we have seen volunteers step up their efforts and go the extra mile to meet growing demand on their services.

“Community groups and charities provide a lifeline to many people. They are applauded for their contribution to our society.

“Yet, the opportunities to raise funds and maintain their income has been reduced by lockdown restrictions, which is why I welcome the latest round of grant aid from the Safer Communities Fund and encourage groups to apply for well-deserved grant aid.”

The Safer Communities Fund closes for applications at 12 noon (mid-day) on Friday 12 February 2021.

To find out more about the fund and to apply, visit https://www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/safer-communities-fund/how-apply

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Message Sent By
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner West Yorkshire (OPCC, Communications, West Yorkshire)

Online Arthritis Action Groups

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Arthritis Action Groups are an opportunity for people with arthritis to talk with others and share their tips on how to manage their arthritis and stay active whilst at home, and we actively welcome new attendees. We discuss a variety of self-management techniques. Participants will need to contact us directly for the log in instructions for the meeting, and we have produced ‘How To’ guides for those not familiar with using Zoom.

 

North East and Yorkshire: 25th Jan 2pm, 12th March 2pm

Evening groups: 18th Jan 6pm, 1st March 6pm

 

For joining details see http://www.arthritisaction.org.uk/media-centre/events

 

Active Citizen’s Project 6 week workshop starting January 26th

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Often when you’re involved in an emergency response either as a volunteer or a paid member of staff you don’t have time to sit back and reflect on the actions you have been taking or the wider context. All One Collective & Lab will be running 6 workshops for individuals who have taken their own community action during Covid-19, volunteers involved in mutual aid groups and local community organisations to reflect on their work and their involvement in the Covid-19 response.

The workshops will provide a space for participants to explore:

•    Health: What do we mean by health? Holistic understandings of health, right to healthcare, community responses to health and wellbeing.
•    Identity and values, our reasons for taking action, individual values and experiences, self-care tools, wellbeing and sustainability
•    You and me: what is community? Who is included and excluded? Prejudice and discrimination. Power, what does it mean and who holds it? How do we empower ourselves and others?
•    Taking Action: what has worked and what hasn’t? What have we learned? How do we have more impact? How can we be more effective? What does success look like?
•    Connecting with and learning from Covid responders in other countries who are part of the Active Citizens network.
•    Recovery: What does it look like? How do we build back better? Challenging inequality, building a low carbon economy.

The workshops will help participants to develop confidence and capacity to take further social actions both individually and collectively, and to learn from others involved in this work in Calderdale, nationally and from groups internationally.

The workshops will run on Zoom but with some offline activities integrated into the sessions.  Each workshop builds on the previous one so whilst we understand some participants might not be able to attend all six, we would encourage participants to attend as many as possible.

The sessions will run from 10am -1pm (with a break)

The dates of the workshops are:

•    26th Jan
•    2nd Feb
•    9th Feb
•    Week off for half-term)
•    23rd Feb
•    2nd March
•    9th March

The project is funded by the British Council.

If anyone interested would like to join but is worried about the digital aspect of the workshops, please do get in touch and we can talk about any further support you might need to help you participate.

For people interested in participating, please email: hilaryturley@all1collective.org.uk

Download Active Citzenship on Health Inequalities Flyer PDF

Coronavirus in Calderdale – useful information

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The OMI and Friday Flyer team have put together some  helpful suggestions and a list of advice outlining the current coronavirus situation in Calderdale.

The list is by no means exhaustive. For current, uptodate information, always refer to official channels. These are listed at the end of this article.

The information in this article is accurate at the time of posting.

Lockdown – restrictions

Stay at home is the advisory.

Only go for groceries or emergencies. You can also go out once for exercise.

If you have coronavirus symptoms: Isolate. Do not go to your GP. Call 111 for advice. Only request assistance if symptoms become severe.

If you must commute, observe social distancing where possible.

Always wear a face mask in closed spaces. If you are exempt from wearing face coverings, have supporting documentation at hand.

Children under the age of 11 do need a face mask.

Health and wellbeing

Clinically vulnerable should shield

Covid and diabetes: Having diabetes does not make you more likely to catch coronavirus. It may make it worse however.

Vaccination

The vaccine is deemed to be safe.

Vaccination is prioritised for the elderly, vulnerable and keyworkers.

Do not contact the NHS requesting vaccination. The NHS will contact you when it is your turn.

Scams

As we do more online and there is concern, scams are on the rise.

Protect yourself online.

Be wary of people approaching you, selling coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine is presently not for sale.

 

For the latest Coronavirus information, visit:

Gov.uk

www.NHS.uk

Is your attic room costing you money?

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Up to 25% of a home’s heat can be lost through the roof and if your attic room is not properly insulated, you could be wasting money on your energy bills. Following a successful application process, Calderdale Council will receive over £2million from the Government’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme, to help improve the energy efficiency of low-income households (up to £30k household income or means tested benefits). The funding will be used to support residents living in the least energy efficient homes to make residents’ homes healthier, warmer and cheaper to heat as well as helping to reduce carbon emissions and tackle the climate emergency.

Eligible households could receive the work, either fully-funded or significantly discounted. The work will be carried out by Better Homes and Yorkshire’s delivery partner, Halifax-based, Eclipse Energy, energy efficient home improvement experts and winners of the 2019 Sustainable Business Award for Calderdale.

This offer is only available for a limited time! Find out more today by calling Eclipse Energy direct on 01422 414850, or email sales@eclipseenergy.co.uk

Information on the offer

Place2Be events and resources for Children’s Mental Health Week 1 – 7 February

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The first week of February 1-7 is dedicated to Children’s Mental Health.

Place2Be.org.uk have prepared a series of activities, workshops and information to promote awareness and direct to sources of assistance for those in need.

https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/

Including an incredible half-day conference (watch live or buy ticket to watch the recording at your discretion) “Creativity as a healing tool: connecting mind body and imagination”. With keynotes from Lemn Sissay and Besseel Van Der Kolk.

 

For more information, visit Place2Be.org.uk

Green Doctors Calderdale – Free Service to help reduce energy bills

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The Green Doctors visit around 2000 homes each year across the Yorkshire and North East regions. We help households to save between £100 – 1000 per year on their energy bills through switching and increased energy efficiency whilst also making homes warmer and healthier.

The Green Doctor service is completely free and provides valuable assistance to many vulnerable households. It may be an elderly person needing help switching, a young family applying for energy grants, or perhaps someone suffering from a health condition exacerbated by the cold and struggling to keep their home to a safe temperature. The scheme is open to eligible people in all types of tenure. Housing Associations, Local Councils, privately rented and privately owned residents are all offered the opportunity to participate in the Green Doctor scheme. The aim of the service is to provide ‘assisted action’ in order for people to maximise their income and to ’empower’ consumers to make informed decisions.

Programme criteria

  1. Low income
  2. Living with debt
  3. Physical health issues
  4. Mental health issues
  5. Dementia
  6. Disabled
  7. In emergency accommodation
  8. Poor housing conditions
  9. In receipt of benefits

How does the programme work?

REFERRAL:
The local referral network provides referrals of vulnerable residents who are in (or at risk of falling into) fuel poverty.

SELF-REFERRAL:
A householder can apply directly or be referred by a professional / organisation.

HOME ENERGY VISIT:
A highly-trained Green Doctor Home Energy Adviser then carries out a home visit (these are now being conducted over the telephone due to Covid).  The Green Doctor assessor will provide tailored in – depth energy efficiency advice and help look for a better deal on energy bills and applying for grants such as the Warm Homes Discount. All the team are trained to assess and advise on heating systems, damp and mould, and can support clients to deal with problems with energy and water suppliers.

POST VISIT:
Based on the findings of the visit/telephone call there are a range of onward referrals that can be made. These include: referral to an income maximisation service, assessment for larger energy efficiency measures (insulation and heating), referral to the local fire service Safe & Well scheme, and identification of serious hazards in the home. With over 12 years’ experience, the Green Doctor team are highly trained in dealing with the wide variety of issues that present themselves during the many home visits we make and we have built partnerships with many local support organisations.

All Green Doctors are trained to City & Guilds Level 3 Energy Awareness 6281-01 as a minimum. We also have 2 fully qualified City & Guilds 6361 Domestic Energy Assessors who are able to assess properties and households for larger energy efficiency measures such as central heating systems and cavity / loft insulation. In addition, all our Green Doctor team are trained to identify, advise and support households with damp, mould and condensation issues.

The Green Doctors have training in mental health awareness, suicide awareness, safeguarding, de-escalation techniques, crime prevention, dementia friendly training, Better Conversations, Universal Credit, Falls, Trips and hazards & hoarding awareness training.

In terms of outreach/marketing/promotion the Green Doctors delivered almost 200 presentations, talks and workshops in the last year to a wide range of both frontline professional workers and local community groups. We also deliver in-depth training for front line workers with our own Green Doctor Accredited ‘Fuel Poverty Awareness’ course.